Perched up in the Hollywood Hills, the former home of escape artist Harry Houdini, while not exactly a true castle does have castle-like elements and loads of whimsical steps and secret pathways through the beautiful gardens. Available only for rental and special events like weddings or film shoots, it is reminiscent of a casa in Italy, and is very popular for weddings. Perhaps get a group together and rent out the magical property for three days, which appears to be the minimum rental, for a special occasion.
Phone: (310) 425-0877
Built-in 1908 the property belonged to Rollin B. Lane, banker and real estate magnate, who left Hollywood in the 1940’s. Restored it to its former glory by the present owner, Milt Larsen it is the home base for the Academy of Magic Arts – a private club for members only and their invited guests. The only way to get children in is to be invited by a member for a weekend brunch, during which there will be magic show by junior magicians – who are exceptionally good – and then kids will have a chance to look around the building.
When: Daily 5 pm to 2 am including weekends. Weekend brunches 10 am to 3 pm.
Phone: (323) 851-3313
Now the Church of Scientology Celebrity Center, this seven-story castle was built in 1927 as a replica of a 17th Century Normandy Castle. It’s 77 units were run along the lines of a hotel with guests being served meals in the formal dining room during the 1930’s and 40’s when many stars stayed here including Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Free guided tours are available to the general public and Sunday brunch is recommended. The Renaissance restaurant gets good reviews.
Phone: (323) 960-3100
4. Chateau Beachwood
Although one cannot visit, as these are private condos, one can at least admire the property from the outside. Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, and Madonna all once called this property home. Built in the style of the Norman chateaus of France, Chateau Beachwood has the classic turrets and elegant stonework of castles of the time.
Where: 2203 North Beachwood Drive
Situated on Sunset Boulevard this hotel, frequented by stars has been touched with glamour and scandal through its many years of existence. Visit the restaurant and either dine indoors or enjoy a meal al fresco on the terrace with its beautiful gardens.
Where: 8221 Sunset Blvd, NY 90046
Phone: (323) 656-1010